From education to employment

Bogus plumbing courses on the rise

The number of bogus plumbing courses is increasing, warns SummitSkills, the Sector Skills Council for building services engineering.

As the economic downturn forces many to seek a change of career, those being duped into expensive, short plumbing courses that will not lead to the employment they expect is likely to soar this year.

Keith Marshall OBE, chief executive of SummitSkills, said:

“We have received many calls from people who have taken up expensive short-term training that leads to virtually worthless qualifications.”

“Short courses rarely provide the skills, experience or qualifications recognised by employers or reputable trade associations. In today’s economic climate it’s all too easy to consider one of these courses as a route to employment, but in reality these courses do nothing for your prospects. It is a tragedy if someone unfortunate enough to be made redundant suffers again by handing money to a rogue trainer.”

“I urge anyone considering taking a plumbing course to check the course and the qualification it leads to thoroughly. We are happy to provide advice on the appropriateness of the qualification and whether the skills learned are likely to be sufficient to achieve industry recognition and employment.”

SummitSkills, which advises that the best route to getting qualified is through an apprenticeship, is teaming up with trade associations like the APHC, SNIPEF, and the Chartered Institute of Plumbing and Heating Engineering, to raise awareness of misleading courses.

Skills Minister Lord Young commented:

“This Government is committed to expanding the number of high quality apprenticeships available. Apprenticeships offer an excellent route into a new career. The Government also funds many other high quality vocational courses, which offer the opportunity to retrain.

“SummitSkills is right to alert people looking to retrain and reskill of the dangers of rogue trainers. I urge anyone considering retraining to become a plumber to check SummitSkills’ website first, or speak to their local further education college or job centre to get good advice and guidance and avoid being ripped off.”

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